In the middle of the city you can also relax in the City Park, ride the chairlift, enjoy a panoramic sunset and even learn how to row - there is so much to do in Budapest and so much more to see!
1. Enjoy a sunset in Budapest with a panoramic cocktail
With breathtaking views of Budapest's sights, the **city'**s rooftop hangouts come alive in summer. Some are located on top of luxury hotels, others atop historic buildings in prestigious locations. Specific venues include E360 Bar and High Note SkyBar.
E360 Bar is an iconic rooftop terrace in Budapest and with a 360-degree panorama, the views will make your jaw drop. 360 Bar is located on top of the tallest building on Andrássy Avenue, hence it offers a perfect view of St. Stephen's Basilica, the Citadel, the Parliament and basically all of Budapest. If you want to visit the Budapest Parliament, one of the best ways to appreciate its exterior architecture is from the E360 Bar given the proximity and height of this bar.
High Note SkyBar is another bar and restaurant on the rooftop of the dazzling Aria Hotel. This place will give you a unique experience thanks to its landscaped rooftop and the breathtaking 360-degree view.
2. Take a dip at Lupa Beach
The palm-lined Lupa sandy beach-park brings the coastline close to Budapest in the summer months. The beach is spread along two kilometers of coastline near Budakalász, and this leisure park offers a true vacation experience. To be clear, it is not a beach as such, but is a very well-kept lake suitable for swimming.
In addition to Budapest's spas, it offers many sports to practice, such as beach volleyball and handball, but you will also find street training and teqball. There is also the largest wakeboarding center in the region, flyboarding, diving; plus many buffets, restaurants and cocktail bars.
This waterfront leisure park and sports center is one of Budapest's best attractions from May to September. However, if you visit Budapest in August you may see festivals and enjoy live music.
3. Ride a chairlift over the Buda Hills
When summer in the city gets overwhelming, you can escape the crowds with a day trip to the Buda Hills, where the Zugliget chairlift will take you up the slope of János Hill for about 15 minutes. From here, you can reach the Erzsébet Lookout Tower, the highest point in Budapest. The chairlift is operated by the city transport company BKK, a single ticket costing 1200 HUF (€3.28) for one way and 1600 (€4.38) for the return.
The Zugliget (Libegő) chairlift is a fun and alternative mode of transport in the Buda Hills transporting passengers between Zugliget and the road leading to the Erzsébet Lookout Tower, while offering panoramic views of Buda's surroundings. The chairlift ride is a special experience to do in summer as it is not available in winter.
It can be reached by taking bus 291 from Nyugati station to its final stop. By the way, by purchasing the Budapest Card you can use unlimited public transportation and get many other advantages.
4. Party at the Pride March
The Budapest Pride Festival is a month-long event created to celebrate LGBTQ culture and support the movement. More than 100 events, including concerts, performances, talks and workshops, are presented before the festival comes to a colorful conclusion with the grand parade. The festival is held in late June.
The procession usually spans City Park and Kossuth tér, the crowd marches along Andrássy út, the city's showcase avenue, as music plays and people parade in costume. After the procession, an open-air rainbow party awaits you in Budapest Park.
5. Take the plunge in an outdoor swimming pool
With the warm weather, Budapest's pools will open to welcome water lovers with outdoor water attractions. Among the most attractive areas are the Palatinus Bath on Margaret Island and the Paskal Thermal Bath, and which will be accessible to guests in early May.
On the other hand, in May, many more of the city's water parks begin high season operations, most of them complete with newly added amenities, including new pools, sports facilities, children's features and a cashless payment system. In addition, starting in July the spas will remain open after the sun goes down, an act welcomed by tourists and locals alike.
The Palatinus Bath, one of Budapest's first open-air public baths, is usually open year-round since remodeling its interior, so you can even enjoy it when visiting the city in winter. Of course, the outdoor area is only accessible during the summer months. Here you can enjoy a children's water park and upgraded training facilities, as well as the musical slide and wave pool, two of the most popular attractions at the bathhouse.
6. Cool off with a delicious ice cream
In summer Budapest specializes in traditionally made, high quality, natural ice cream. You are sure to find something to your taste, as in summer they are offered at various locations throughout the city. You can even indulge in inventions in the form of rose petals at Gelarto Rosa, as well as various creative combinations of handmade ice creams. All kinds of sprinkles, cones and sauces are also available, as well as lactose- and sugar-free options.
I also recommend the extravagant dill cucumber yogurt, salted caramel or matcha. Fans of classic flavors won't be left out either, as vanilla, chocolate, pistachio and lemon ice creams are also available. The average price is one euro.
7. Open-air party with live sounds
Summer sees Budapest, and its party places, move outdoors. If you prefer not to pay for a concert ticket, you can always enjoy the festive atmosphere on the boat A38, a music venue and event boat moored near the Petőfi Bridge, or at the popular party venue ** Pontoon** near the Chain Bridge.
Live sounds are also offered near Nyugati station, Zsiráf. On the Buda side, you'll also find live music on Tuesdays in summer, near the Bartók Béla út terrace.
And if you're into drinking at the most cutting-edge and quirky places, a party tour of Budapest's four best ruin pubs is your plan. You can combine both options and enjoy the night!
8. St. Stephen's celebrations
If you visit the city in August, don't forget the St. Stephen's celebrations at the end of this month, I dare say the biggest summer event in Budapest.
Fireworks explode in the night sky over Budapest and thousands of people gather in prime locations along the Danube, booking tables in open-air restaurants or even hotel rooms.
During the day, processions, gastronomic tours and concerts are held at the city's landmarks, while major museums and Parliament offer free admission to visitors. The national holiday eulogizes Hungary's first king, St. Stephen, and the founding of the state.
9. Take a cruise on the Danube
From sightseeing trips along the downtown waterway to thrilling speedboat rides, Budapest's boat companies offer incredible options for excursions around the bend of the Danube.
Of course, one of the best nighttime things to do in Budapest is to take the night cruises along the river. This is because, thanks to the high season, you will be able to appreciate a city full of lights and movement. In addition, thanks to some of Budapest's ruin bars located on the banks of the river, it is possible to listen to music while you navigate the immense river.
These trips usually last one hour and are made several times a day. The trips start at Vigadó tér station and the shuttle service usually runs between Margaret Bridge and Rákóczi Bridge.
10. Go paddling in City Park
The lake of the City Park is a skating rink in winter; however, in summer the ice rink turns into a beautiful lake for romantic and pleasant walks. If you visit the city in September you should take a stroll through the park, as by that time there will only be water by the lake.
Városliget (City Park) has been attracting generations of locals seeking green space and tranquility for more than a century. It was once the main venue for the millennial celebrations of 1896. Today, this urban oasis contains two lakes, one immediately behind Heroes' Square and the other by Vajdahunyad Castle. If you don't feel like taking a rowboat with your loved one, you can sit and feed the ducks while enjoying the cool shade by the water.
Summer temperatures in Budapest
It can get quite hot in summer, especially compared to the winter season in the city. Average temperatures in July and August are 20°C, but the city suffers from several heat waves with highs over 30°C.
Although humidity levels are usually lower during the warmer months of the year, this is not usually the case in Budapest, as summer is when the city gets the most rain. This, logically, raises the humidity in the city making it feel hotter.
The good news is that there are thousands of ways and places to combat these temperature rises, as you have seen in this guide.
Is it advisable to visit the city in summer?
Yes, it is advisable as you can enjoy a lot of nightlife in Budapest thanks to the ruin bars and summer festivals. In addition, in August you can celebrate the Sziget festival on the island of Obuda, a unique celebration that you should not miss.
The city's parks also flourish with the weather, an ideal season for picnics.
The only thing less pleasant is the influx of tourists, which skyrockets in the summer months. In addition, the city is often less clean than in winter due to the effects of thawing snow. Also, forget ice skating, for them you must visit the city in winter.
Where is the party atmosphere in Budapest in summer?
Very easy, in the seventh district of Pest. Here you will find the highest concentration of ruin bars in the city, so called because they occupy formerly abandoned buildings and courtyards, and in many cases ramshackle and full of graffiti.
Among the most partying ruin bars are the Instant, the Kuplung (a former motorcycle repair shop, the name means "clutch") and Rácskert, one of the newest to be incorporated. At any of these venues you can expect multiple musical events from live music (jazz, folk, rock) to parties and celebrations.
I also recommend the bars along the Danube and the open-air venues in Margit-Sziget, as they tend to be very lively in summer, especially if you visit the city in August and September.